Modern history

Gloriana: Elizabeth I and the Art of Queenship

Gloriana: Elizabeth I and the Art of Queenship

In a Reformation kingdom ill-used to queens, Elizabeth I needed a very particular image to hold her divided country together. The ‘Cult of Gloriana’ would elevate the queen to the status of a virgin goddess, aided by authors, musicians, and artists such as Spenser, Shakespeare, Hilliard, Tallis and Byrd. Her image was widely owned and distributed, thanks to the expansion of printing, and the English came to surpass their European counterparts in miniature painting, allowing courtiers to carry a likeness of their sovereign close to their hearts.

Sumptuously illustrated, Gloriana: Elizabeth I and the Art of Queenship tells the story of Elizabethan art as a powerful device for royal magnificence and propaganda, illuminating several key artworks of Elizabeth’s reign to create a portrait of the Tudor monarch as she has never been seen before.

Introduction: Gloriana

Chapter 1. Elizabeth I and the English Renaissance

Chapter 2. Family and Survival: The Early Years

Chapter 3. ‘God Hath Raised Me High’: Accession and Religion

Chapter 4. ‘One Mistress and No Master’: Marriage Game

Chapter 5. Nicholas Hilliard: The Queen’s Painter

Chapter 6. Secrets and Codes: Mary, Queen of Scots

Chapter 7. Elizabethan Arts: The Golden Age

Chapter 8. Gold and Glory: Exploration and Armada

Chapter 9. Dress, Dazzle and Display: Mask of Youth

Chapter 10. Final Years: Death and Legacy

Appendix: List of Artworks and Treasures

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at Thank you!